Give your room a storage boost while renewing an old hope or blanket chest with a posh paint finish.


blanket chest before painting

Once upon a time, many homes had a blanket or hope chest that the bride had brought to the marriage. Filled with either her trousseau or items female family members had lovingly sewn to furnish her new home, the cedar-lined chest became part of the furniture. Even when I was young (really, not THAT long ago), Lane Furniture, a premiere maker of hope chests, gave each female member of my graduating high school class a miniature chest in hopes of selling the real deal in time. But those days have passed and these heirlooms are found more and more in thrift shops, at flea markets and antique malls for pretty affordable prices.


Blanket chest

Whether you’ve purchased a chest or inherited one (this one was a $20 auction purchase), update that dark finish and add storage to any room that needs a little extra organization and an injection of style. Chalk Paint makes it easy. Here’s how.

Gather Your Materials

  • Blanket chest
  • Medium and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • 3-inch-wide trim paintbrush
  • Large round white bristle scumbling brush
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Paloma
  • Annie Sloan Soft Wax: Clear and Dark
  • Soft cloths for buffing or electric buffing wheel

Remove all hardware. Sand all outside surfaces of the chest using medium, then fine grit sandpaper. Wipe all sanded surfaces thoroughly with a tack cloth. Basecoat all outside surfaces of the chest and lid with Paloma; let dry.


Painted blanket chest detail

Use a large round white bristle scumbling brush to apply clear wax. Use a firm circular motion to scrub the wax thoroughly into the painted surface. Apply onto small sections until the entire surface is covered; let dry. Use a soft cloth or buffing wheel to buff the wax to a satin sheen. To antique the chest, apply dark wax to molding, creases, and edges as desired; let dry. Buff again for a soft finish.


Blanket chest after painting

Use your chest for storing linens at the foot of your bed. Or top it with a cushion and tuck it beneath a window in the family room where it can double as window seat and game night storage, or give it a home in the dining room and fill it with tablecloths, placemats, napkins and runners. Top it with a divided tray to hold napkin rings, place card holders and candles.


Project painted by Pat Garrington
Photography by Chris Hennessey


© Caruth Studio

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